With a large harbor on Buzzards Bay, Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, developed as a center for shipbuilding, whaling, and coastal trade. Congress appropriated $5,000 on March 3, 1837, for a lighthouse at Neds Point, at the north side of the entrance to Mattapoisett’s harbor. The lighthouse was first lighted in March 1838.
The Coast Guard decommissioned the lighthouse in 1952. In 1958 the site, except the tower itself, was sold to the Town of Mattapoisett. The lighthouse became the centerpiece of a beautiful park that was developed at Neds Point. The light became active again, with a new acrylic optic, in 1961. In 1993, the local Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla adopted the lighthouse.
Recently, four Auxiliarists founded the Friends of Neds Point Lighthouse this year as a way to raise funds to restore the lighthouse. Sal Giglia and Bill Cody are two of the Auxiliarists who started Friends of Neds Point Lighthouse.
Graham, Washington, is about 15 miles southeast of Tacoma. In 2002, a 25-foot-tall faux lighthouse was built on the property of Arnie Andrews and his wife, Velta. Arnie had health setbacks, and climbing to the top of his lighthouse to change the light bulb became impossible. This past July 15, a medical alert was triggered at the Andrews home, and a crew from Graham Fire and Rescue immediately showed up.
It turned out that there was no medical emergency, but what happened next is pretty special. One of the responders was Andy Faubion, who is interviewed in this episode.
Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org